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New Coldhams Lane science park in Cambridge would create about 3,800 jobs and feature urban country park, says Mission Street

A new science park that could be built partly on an old landfill site in Cambridge could create 3,800 new jobs and feature an urban country park, the developer has said.

Mission Street’s latest plans for the “urban innovation district” off Coldhams Lane were presented to Cambridge City Council on Monday (October 9) ahead of a formal planning application.

How the Coldhams Lane science park could look. Picture: Mission Street
How the Coldhams Lane science park could look. Picture: Mission Street

The developer hopes to create a “globally significant science destination” that also “fully integrates with its neighbourhood and transforms Cambridge lives”.

The development would feature research and development buildings and an urban country park, including a protected ecology area, which the developer would manage once completed. Lakes on the site would be open for people to walk around.

Artem Korolev, chief executive of Mission Street, said the company hoped to be in the city “long term”.

The company intends to demand that at least the Cambridge living wage - which is higher than the national minimum wage - would be paid to the estimated 3,800 employees that could work on the site.

Mission Street told councillors it is “ambitious” about encouraging people working in the laboratories to walk and cycle to work, and plans more than 900 cycle parking spaces and showers for people to use when they arrive.

Planners said they were considering how people from outside the city will travel to the science park, and said Mission Street was looking at establishing a shuttle bus service to collect people from Park & Ride sites on the edge of the city.

Some of the new science park would be built on a former landfill site, which planners noted offered an opportunity to clean up the land.

Concerns have been raised by some that the development would increase the risk from the old landfill site.

How The Mixer building could look on the proposed Coldhams Lane science park. Picture: Mission Street
How The Mixer building could look on the proposed Coldhams Lane science park. Picture: Mission Street

But a Mission Street representative said: “We have spent a lot of time speaking to people to help them understand the actual status quo is almost the worst thing to happen here. The landfill does degrade - it does create risk.

“Through the development, it does give us the opportunity to improve that issue, and I think once people understand that it starts to change their perception of what we can do here and the benefits just through cleaning up the site.”

The developer also set out plans for The Mixer community building for those working on the park to socialise.

This building would be open to the wider public as well, with rooms available for booking and potentially summer theatre or farmer’s markets held there.

Cllr Naomi Bennett (Green, Abbey) was concerned that the proposed shuttle bus would “weaken” the chances of getting an improved bus service. She drew the developer’s attention to Combined Authority plans around bus reform, and asked whether Mission Street had looked at public bus options, or whether the shuttle buses could be open to the public to use.

Cllr Dave Baigent (Lab, Romsey) thought the shuttle bus service was a “fantastic” plan, but had concerns about the impact of the new jobs on demand for housing in the area.

Cllr Katie Porrer (Lib Dem, Market) said when the plans were formally submitted she would like to see more images showing how the proposed new buildings would look from Coldhams’ Lane and how their heights would compare to existing buildings.

The developer hopes to submit the proposals at the end of the month.

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